The term “Long Range Surveillance Cameras” can mean several things. Probably one of the most popular meanings is long range infrared (IR) capability, but it can also mean long range zoom optics or long range wireless transmission technology. In this article will take a look at each.
Long Range IR
Long range surveillance cameras use a wealth of technology these days to reach far and yet produce a crisp, detailed video image. Some cameras use a large array of super IR Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs to increase the range of the camera. If these are placed properly in series they can extend a camera’s night time range to 1,000 feet or more.
Security Camera Illuminators can also be used to extend the night time range of your camera. These illuminators contain nothing but super powerful IRLEDs. IR radiation is invisible to the human eye but is like ordinary light to your camera’s sensor chip. Therefore, with the proper placement of illuminators the range of any IR camera can be greatly increased. Even Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras can cover massive areas with well placed IR illuminators.
A newer method combines laser diode technology that creates long range active IR illumination greatly exceeding both the performance and distance of traditional IR LED illumination.
Luckily, the sensors used to capture daylight for the camera are also sensitive to infrared light (although our eyes can’t see it). These sensors, either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS produce extremely detailed IR illuminated video images even at long ranges with the proper IR illumination. IR illumination is in that part of the magnetic radiation spectrum that is not visible, so IR video shot at night is usually either black and white or in monochrome color.
Long Range Zoom Optics
If you are willing to pay the price, highly refined long range zoom optics are available for many cameras. In fact there are dozens of manufacturers that produce high-quality high-cost zoom lenses that can have very long ranges. Sometimes it may be better off to consider the placement of a second or third camera as these may actually cost lest than long range zoom optics.
These lenses may start at around 50 to 100 dollars but the real highly refined long range zoom lenses usually start around the low $300 mark and may range up to a thousand dollars.
Wireless Long Rang Surveillance Cameras
There are many “wireless methods” out there these days including WiFi, 2.4 and 5.8 GHz, 900 MHz to name a few. Most all of these wireless methods are called Line of Sight or LOS methods. Line of Sight means that the range on the wireless transmission (as stated by the manufacturer in the specifications for the camera) is based on a clear path between the camera and the receiver. In other words, put yourself at the place you intend to mount your camera and look toward your receiver. If there is nothing in the way impeding your sight to the camera you should get maximum wireless range.
On the other hand, if there is anything that blocks the LOS path, that can reduce your range or make the wireless connection impossible. Items that block the LOS have different effects upon the transmission. Objects that often block the LOS include walls, building, trees, window glass, stone, brick, or concrete block to name a few. The good news is that most of the time these materials do not totally inhibit transmission, they just reduce it.
The typical range for average wireless cameras ranges from 50 to a few hundred feet. However, long range surveillance cameras, according to their manufacturers, can transmit from 2400 feet up to 3 or 4 miles!
So we have identified three different modes of long range surveillance cameras. There are long range Infrared cameras, long range high quality optics that let the camera see longer, and wireless long range surveillance cameras.
If you have any questions concerning long range surveillance cameras contact one of our security experts via on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST. We love to help!